Tar-Elenion on the Uruks/Uruk-hai
#41
Quote:Originally posted by Unregistered
If Uruk-hai means all Uruks, it is pointless for the Isengarders to boast "We are the fighting Uruk-hai!" This seems to be there unique identity apart from other Orcs, in the context of the boast.



That assumes that it is a boast to distinguish them from other orcs rather than to distinguish themselves as great orcs and warriors against the human rabble.

Giles
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#42
Sorry I do not feel the energy to get into this at this point.
A couple of nots however:
On "-hai":
The Dru-folk (Druedain) are named 'Oghor-hai' by the Orcs.
UT

On "Uruk":
"Orcs and the Black Speech. Orc is the form of the name that other races had for this foul people as it was in the language of Rohan. In Sindarin it was orch. Related, no doubt, was the word uruk of the Black Speech, though this was applied as a rule only to the great soldier-orcs that at this time issued from Mordor and Isengard."
App. F

On the speech of Shagrat and Gorbag:
"When Sauron arose again, it [Black Speech) became once more the language of Barad-dûr and of the captains of Mordor."
App. F

On the boasts of the Isengarders:
Martin Read once pointed out long ago that the emphasis is "fighting" and not "Uruk-hai".
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#43
Quote:Originally posted by Mike of Quantum Muse
If it does just translate as "folk" then all orcs would be entitled to the Uruk Hai title.

Just as all Elves would be entitled to be called "Penni", but that was nonetheless a tribal name for one group of Avari.

Interesting thought about the association of "Hai" with larger members of a race, though.
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#44
Quote:Originally posted by Giles
...We're told that Higher Up (and how high?) knows quite a lot: whether from Shagrat who certainly hasn't seen any rebel Isengarders coming up the pass and getting by Shelob, only Gorbag's bunch. So it isn't likely that he is giving an order to be on the watch for Isengarders.

It isn't unlikely, either, since they do't know who is wandering about the landscape. Shagrat was not around by the time Sam and Frodo overheard the discussion between the two Orcs -- and, in any event, he didn't know who else was wandering around, either.

So, it still makes no difference whether we're talking about the tracker Orc or whomever told him to go look for something.

Sauron himself didn't know what was going on.

It is therefore erroneous to assume that the Higher Ups had any prejudices against assuming that Uruk-hai might be in the neighborhood. The conversation clearly shows that the Orcs (and their leaders) don't know who or what has made its way into Mordor.


Quote:Not quite. The tracker states that there is bad news, things are not going well, and that they've got number 1. This is the day after the battle.

This was almost a day later and concerned the defeat at the Battle of Pelennor Fields. I was responding to your original remark: "I think we can safely assume that by the 16th of March Sauron and the Nine knew the state of Isengard."

Isengard is a long way off from the Pelennor Fields. The narrative says that some of the Orcs survived and fled back to Mordor. How they could have gotten back to Minas Morgul and passed on the news of the loss so quickly is a bit of a mystery. But I see no reason (based on the text) to assume that a Nazgul plopped down in Cirith Ungol and immediately informed all the Orcs that Isengard had fallen, the Lord of the Nazgul was no more, and, oh, the Uruks from Minas Morgul are now deemed to be rebel Uruk-hai.

Quote:Sure, a haven for orc kind who serve Sauron.

Any port in a storm. Whether rebels would be "killed on the spot" is another matter entirely. I doubt they would be if that could be avoided.

However, my point stands: no one in Mordor knows who slipped in with Frodo. The Orcs sent to look for his companion were given a broad selection of possibilities.

Quote:I don't remember this quote, but I'll take it on faith.

When Aragorn leads the Fellowship out of Moria, he allows them some time to grieve, but then tells them they have to be far away by night fall.

Quote:...So on the other hand, we now have a surviving group of Isengarders going to Mordor to avenge Saruman--but wouldn't they then be trying to get Sauron?

Who knows? You're trying to argue that there would be no reason for Uruk-hai to be in Mordor. I simply suggested there could be. Neither of us can prove either supposition based on the text.

Quote:So on this story we have a group of Isengard orcs who escape the Ents and huorns,...

They don't have to escape the Ents and the Huorns. We know that Saruman had sent out companies of Uruk-hai for various purposes.

Quote:...are able to get past Sauron's armies and spies along the east bank,...

You're assuming that "rebel Uruk-hai" would be stopped. Why should they be? If simply working for someone other than Sauron makes you a "rebel", that doesn't mean you have orders to kill the rebel on sight.

Clearly, Mordor and Isengard Orcs were working together in the raid where Merry and Pippin were taken together.

Quote:Regarding my point 2:

No, my question assumes a level of consistency in a carefully constructed story.

No, your question implies many assumptions about the thinking of off-stage characters.

We don't have to assume that Sauron would suppose anything about a situation of which he was unaware.

We do know that Mordor and Isengard had cooperated, and that therefore some or perhaps even many of Sauron's Orcs knew about the relationship. Neither the Orcs nor the Nazgul would have been in a position to know whether a mission from Isengard had been sent to Minas Morgul for an undisclosed purpose.

There is no basis for connecting the events at Cirith Ungol with Sauron's direct attention. The whole of Aragorn's looking into the Palantir was to prevent Sauron from becoming aware of the incursion.

In fact, for all the Nazgul knew, Frodo was the missing Hobbit Sauron had encountered in the Palantir, and his missing companion could have been an rebel Uruk-hai guard had been sent to convey him to Mordor.

Quote:So? It doesn't matter if they had been there since the First Age began. What matters is the level of knowledge about Isengarders a low level tracker orc is supposed to have....how much intercourse did orcs from Mordor have with orcs from Isengard.

Enough that they were aware of the relationship with each other. If the tracker Orc had been well-informed, he wouldn't have been blathering about conflicting orders from Higher Ups.

Quote:I don't understand where you developed the idea that I'm equating the uruk hai with Saruman---they aren't the same thing.

No. But I cited text which showed that the Orcs of Mordor probably considered anyone outside of Mordor, who wasn't taking orders from Sauron, to be a rebel -- hence, the Uruk-hai were rebels.

It doesn't matter if at this point Saruman is now seen to be a traitor (although in that context "rebel Uruk-hai" would still be appropriate even if superfluous). So far, the reader has been given no reason to think the Uruk-hai are loyal to Sauron anyway. They are proud of their allegiance to Saruman.

Quote:I'll add another issue. The chapter in the Two Towers called Uruk Hai has more than one group of orcs in it. Fairly consistently throughout the chapter (ok, I didn't find an exception but grant that I might have missed something) TOLKIEN calls them Isengarders, not uruk hai. Only the Ugluk uses that term in that chapter and as we estbalished last summer, his references aren't conclusive by themselves.

Then you need to go back and reread that chapter very carefully.

The Uruk-hair (AND the narrative) identify ONLY the Isengarders as the Uruk-hai.
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#45
Quote:Originally posted by Giles
That assumes that it is a boast to distinguish them from other orcs rather than to distinguish themselves as great orcs and warriors against the human rabble.

They were distinguishing themselves from other Orcs. In the chapter "The Uruk-hai", when they said this, they were taking credit for making the kill (of Boromir) that the other Orcs couldn't make.
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#46
Quote:Originally posted by Tar-Elenion
On the boasts of the Isengarders:
Martin Read once pointed out long ago that the emphasis is "fighting" and not "Uruk-hai".


The text does not emphasize "fighting" over "Uruk-hai":

Quote:'Aye, we must stick together,' growled Ugluk. 'I dont' trust you little swine. You've no guts outside your own sties. But for us you'd all have run away. We are fighting Uruk-hai! We slew the great warrior. We took the prisoners. We are the servants of Saruman the Wise, the White Hand: the Hand that gives us man's-flesh to eat. We came out of Isengard, and led you here, and we shall lead you back by the way we choose. I am Ugluk. I have spoken.'

From, "The Uruk-hai"

Only the Isengarders ever claim, or are ever referred to, as "Uruk-hai".

"fighting" modifies "Uruk-hai" in Ugluk's speech. It is not the other way around.
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#47
Quote:Originally posted by Giles
That assumes that it is a boast to distinguish them from other orcs rather than to distinguish themselves as great orcs and warriors against the human rabble.

Giles


Given the fact that more than twenty of them died in an attempt to kill one "human rabble", I think they are more likely to boast of being superior to Misty Mountain orcs than to wandering Stewards of Gondor.

In fact, Ugluk calls Boromir "the great warrior." so I don't think they are distiguishing themselves from humans, but from "Morgul rats" and "Mountain Maggots".

When I was in the Marines we said some unflattering things about other services, comparing ourselves favorably to them and complaining that we had to do all the real work. As I said, Ugluk is a familiar character, almost an old friend. Wink
Wrestling Darwin on a daily basis.

"Question boldly even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, He must more approve of the homage of reason than that of a blindfolded fear." -Thomas Jefferson
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#48
Thanks, Michael. That was my point, and I appreciate you defending it.

If the emphasis is only on fighting, does this imply the other orcs were pacifists?

"We are the fighting Uruk-hai" sounds almost like a football team cheerSmile
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#49
Quote:Originally posted by Mike of Quantum Muse

When I was in the Marines we said some unflattering things about other services, comparing ourselves favorably to them and complaining that we had to do all the real work.
Exactly! You would have said something along the lines of "We're the fightin' Marines!" (Or some other word beginning with 'f' Wink ) "Not those rotten Squids or Zoomies!" If you had been comparing yourselves to, say, Germans, you would have said something like "Those Krauts can't compare with Americans, especially Marines."
"What song the Sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions are not beyond conjecture." - Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici
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